Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Sign of the times

It's the sort of thing that makes me smile.

The other day I went for a walk at lunchtime. It wasn't that that made me smile; walking is not a natural action for me and after a few minutes I was hankering for a car to take me back to the office.

No, I experienced a small amount of low-grade merriment when I rounded a corner and was confronted by the near legendary Binley Mega-Chippy.

I've driven past it loads of time, but never seen it up close. There's something about the honesty of the shop's name that makes me smile. No pretension - you know exactly what you're going to get. A frickin' great big chip shop. Cod in batter, chips by the bucketload, no messing.

I didn't succumb, by the way, tempting thought it was.

But "chippy" is one of those great words - like "offy" or "outdoor" for an off-licence - normally everyone uses it apart from the proprietors themselves. So when you see it writ large it re-affirms your faith in human nature. Sometimes it's nice when people don't try to be too clever with these things. Plus I've seen too many "fish restaurants" that are really chippies, too many "Village Wines" that just sell 24-can slabs of Stella together with a bottle of Smirnoff Ice for the laydeez.

When I was growing up, I'm sure I remember an off-licence in Hall Green near Yardley Wood station, called "Bernie's Booze" or "Boozers' Paradise" or something like that. I'm not 100% on that recollection - but I'm pretty certain the locals didn't go for it in a big way, Hall Green being a little gentle as suburbs go.

But my favourite has to be the newsagents and tobacconists up by the Fox & Goose pub in Ward End. It was called "Fags 'n' Mags".

I hope it's still there. I'd salute that one as I went past.

1 comment:

Rebecca said...

Hey, I know we just met, but...

tag. You're it. (Come to our site and see what's what. See? This is the kind of inanity the Internets are famous for.)


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